Sybase Befriends Samsung, Symbian, Amazon
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NEW YORK -- The mobile enterprise industry isn't just about one company anymore. "It used to be that if you asked a CIO about their mobile strategy, they'd say it was RIM," said Sybase CEO John Chen at the New York Stock Exchange today. "Today, with the iPhone and other devices, things have changed."
That change has been driven by consumer adoption of the latest mobile devices. "They are now consumer-owned, not enterprise-owned," Terry Stepien, president of Sybase's iAnywhere subsidiary, told InternetNews.com.
Sybase (NYSE: SY) today announced that its Sybase Unwired Platform is being used to deliver the new Samsung SDS Enterprise Mobile Service. Samsung's service provides all the expected enterprise apps, such as ERP, CRM, and SCM and the Sybase-Samsung SDS partnership includes co-marketing, sales, and joint service deployment, Sybase said in a statement.
"Samsung further validates our Sybase Anywhere platform as an approach to providing enterprise mobility," said Stepien.
Delivering enterprise applications to mobile devices is no simple matter, he said. "You need to take into account the operating system, carrier, and form factor," he said.
Device options only continue to grow, with new releases from Amazon and others not normally associated with the mobility market reaching such a pitch that some commentators are saying that there are too many mobile devices on the market.
Samsung said that Sybase was capable of handling the mobility challenge. "Sybase's comprehensive mobility platform and overall enterprise mobility expertise together with our extensive mobile infrastructure is a winning combination for customers," said Seung An Park, executive vice president of research and business development for Samsung SDS in a statement.
Seeking all channels
Sybase aims to work with all mobile devices, not just with device vendors that have proprietary software. On Wednesday the company announced that the latest version of its most popular iAnyware app, Afaria, which handles mobile device management and security, now supports the Open Mobile Alliance Device Management (OMA DM) standards for device management in version 6.0 of Afaria, available now.
With the adoption of this open source client, Sybase iAnywhere said it added support fo over a billion phones including numerous Nokia devices and Symbian phones.
"Sybase's platform-agnostic approach and wide spectrum of management capabilities is unique within the mobile middleware space," said Marit Ursin, CEO of SmartPhones Telecom AS (sted Datanat).
Sybase's open approach has received plaudits from research firms Forrester and IDC. A new Forrester report, "The Forrester WaveT: Mobile Device Management Solutions, Q2 2009," named the company co-leader (along with RIM) in the mobile device management software space.
Sybase said in a statement that Sybase iAnyware was again recognized as the leader in mobile device management in last year's IDC report "Worldwide Mobile Device Management Enterprise 2008-2012 Forecast and 2007 Vendor Shares," making this year the seventh consecutive year that it has been so recognized.
Sybase is also tracking software trends and announced yesterday that it is working with hardware and software industry leaders on virtualization and cloud computing initiatives.
For example, the company is working with Amazon's Amazon Web Services (AWS) subsidiary to deliver test environments and guides for free for use in Amazon's EC2 public cloud.
As for private clouds, Sybase is working with Symantec Veritas to deliver enterprise-class server and storage virtualization and will discuss the project in detail in a webcast on June 4, 2009.
But executives sounded cautious about the hype surrounding these buzzwords. Stepien noted that virtualization is a technology that was developed for repetitive batch processes and is not applicable to all applications, and added that although cloud computing can deliver clear benefits, adoption in many areas remains slow.
Marty Beard, president of Sybase 365, the company's mobile services subsidiary, told InternetNews.com that the company's global SMS system that can deliver messages to 800 telcos worldwide could be seen as a "messaging cloud" but noted that it's not what most people mean when they use the "cloud" buzzword except in the sense that the company is constantly improving the telecommunications software it uses internally instead of issuing upgrades in bulk in new releases.